Our Work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
1. Historical overview: The Democratic Republic of the Congo
After 10 years of experience we founded the Association Kongo Social-Care e. V. to continue to support our various projects in Congo-Kinshasa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in the heart of Africa - right on the equator - and has an area of about 2,345,000 square kilometres. The Congo is the second largest country in Africa and is seven times as large as Germany! The state has about 60 million inhabitants, who belong to more than 250 ethnic groups and speak different languages or dialects.
The Berlin Congo Conference 1885 allowed King Leopold II., to claim the Congo for himself, which was the starting point for the division of Africa among the European powers. On November 15, 1885, the Congo Free State was recognized as his private property. In 1908, Congo Free State turned to Belgian-Congo and Léopoldville was declared in 1933, the capital.
Congo-Kinshasa declared its independence on 30 June 1960. The leader of Congolese independence movement, Patrice Émery Lumumba, was the first Prime Minister of the young founded State. He was murdered by the American and Belgian Government after only 18 months.
The Western powers and international companies continued to have influence after the declaration of international sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were again in the secession of the provinces of Katanga (1960-1963) and South Kasai (1960-1962) as well as in the proclamation of the "People's Republic of Congo" in Kisangani on September 7, 1964 and in the various rebel movements. They supported the dictatorship of Mobutu (1965 until 1997), financed the aggressive wars from 1996 and 1998 and benefited from natural resources.
President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu ruled the country for 32 years - from 1965 to 1997. Both the country and the currency and the River were renamed in 1971 "Zaïre". Since then, the capital is Kinshasa. On May 17, 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila took over the leadership of the country. The territory and the river got back the old name of Congo. The nation is called since then, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The main source for the financing of the war in the Congo was and is the ore mixture columbite-tantalite (coltan). It is a rare raw material, which is in great demand for the production of cell phones, laptops and game consoles. coltan is needed for hearing aids, pacemakers, airbags, navigation equipment, surgical equipment, digital cameras and the aerospace industry. Therefore, the mineral is a popular smuggling good. It is estimated that 80 percent of known global reserves of coltan are located in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are also other important minerals: cadmium, diamonds, petroleum, germanium, gold, cobalt, copper, manganese, uranium, zinc, tin, etc. The Congo could be the richest country in the world, but it is one of the poorest countries. The region is exploited by Western companies. Rebel leaders, officers of the Congolese army and politicians have traded profitably with coltan and other raw materials.
It is the civilian population which is paying a high price for this conflict. It is murdered, banished, robbed, kidnapped, terrorized etc. On 23 January 2008, the US charity International Rescue Committee (IRC) said that approximately 5.4 million people were killed since the outbreak of the war in Congo in 1996. This is the largest number of lives, the war killed after the end of the Second World War in 1945. These victims died by direct violence or on the consequences of the war, malnutrition, lack of medical attention, banishment and rape.
2. Our work
Our work focuses on the promotion of education, proper medical equipment, food supplies, international understanding and support for social development projects.
Our aim is to implement following supporting measures:
- Supply of medicines and medical equipment
- Education for children and young people
- Collection of bikes, spare parts and tools
- Food for a healthy diet
- Raise funds through donations and advertising events
- Creation of a cultural exchange
- Co-operation with the Non-profit organization “Action pour le Dévelopement et le Bien-Être Social” (ADEBES) and other local organizations in Congo
If you are interested in our work and want to help us, we are pleased about your commitment. We should not forget this old wisdom: "If you give other people joy, you will feel it in you"; or in other words: "The joy we provide gets back to the own heart”.